X,Y and Z Rareties

A Painting of the Goddess Yamaya

The very bottom of the US list provides some great names hidden among made up choices, misspelt disasters and boys names on girls. Here are some given to just 5 girls from the very bottom of the list and the end of the alphabet.

Xanthe: A Greek name Derived ξανθος (xanthos) meaning “yellow” or “fair hair” and the name of a few minor characters in mythology. It is currently the name of a character on Neighbours and is the name of both a mountain range and a region on mars (Xanthe Montes and Xanthe Terra)
Xitllali: Another that isn’t on Behind the Name or Namberry but is on some sites as a form of Citlali an Nahuatl name meaning star.
Xyliana: While I initially thought it was made up (it’s not on behind the name or nameberry) some name websites list it as a Greek name meaning from the woods.
Yaelle: The French form of the Hebrew Yael, itself a form of Jael a biblical name meaning “ibex, mountain goat”. In France it’s a top 300 choice at 295.
Yahir: A Hebrew and Arabic name meaning he will enlighten and a former top 300 choice for boys inspired by A Mexican pop singer and telenovela star known simply as Yahir, who was named after a Brazilian soccer player.
Yami: A Sanskrit name meaning Pair. In Hindu belief this is the name of the first woman, the twin sister of the first man Yama. A current famous bearer is Indian actress Yami Gautam
Yared: The Hebrew form of Jared, used in Ethiopia. It was borne by a semi-legendary 6th-century Ethiopian musician who is considered a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It was also given to 26 boys.
Yemaya: The Spanish form of Yemoja a spirit from the Yoruba religion. In Africa she is the patron saint of women, in the Brazilian Ubanda religion Queen of the Ocean, the patron spirit of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks, the feminine principle of creation, and the spirit of moonlight. In the Cuban Santerio variation of the Yoruba mythology she is the mother of all living things as well as the owner of the oceans and seas
Yoko: A variant transcription of Youko meaning 陽 (you) meaning “light, sun, male” or 洋 (you) meaning “ocean” combined with 子 (ko) meaning “child”, in Japanese.
Yoltzin: Yoltzin is of Nahuatl origin meaning of Yoltzin “little heart”.  It is used on both boys and girls.
Yu: A Chinese 玉 (yù) meaning “jade, precious stone, gem”, 愉 (yú) meaning “pleasant, delightful” or 雨 (yǔ) meaning “rain”.
Yukta: The name of an Indian actress and model (winner of Miss World in 1999). Yukta could mean Idea or Latitude or Attentive or Skillful in Hindu and can also be given to boys. The variant spelling Yuktha was also used 5 times.
Yura: Some of Yura’s born could actually be Yu-Ra a Sino-Korean name meaning 由 “cause, reason; from” and 路 “road, path, street; journey”. Spelt Yura it is the name of an actress and K-Pop star, a Japanese voice actress and an Indonesian jazz singer. It is also has roots as a Russian male name however in the US it only ranks for girls.
Zafira: Most likely a variant transcription of Sapphira in Arabic. Though it has a nice sound it is the name of a car produced by Opel since 1999.
Zealand: Inspired by New Zealand or the Island of Denmark? Either way it means Sealand and was also given to 33 boys.
Zella: A German diminutive of Marcella and a former top 1000 choice, last reaching such heights in 1950. With the popularity of Ella it’s surprising to see it so low.
Zila: When spelt either Zila or Zillah it’s a country subdivision between Iran, Pakistan and Bangeldesh, a South African jazz group, a village in Iran, Zile/Zela is a city in Turkey and Zila Ghaziabad is a Bollywood movie.
Zoja: The Polish and Macedonian form of Zoe, pronounced ZOI-Ah and is a top 10 choice in Slovenia. A famous bearer is Australian sculpter Zoja Trofimiuk and is the surname of Italian phsycoanalyst Luigi Zoja.
Zsazsa: A diminutive of Zsuszanna which is the Hungarian form of Susanna. The name most likely brings to mind Hungarian-born actress ZsaZsa Gabor who was born Sári. The pronunciation could be an issue: ZHAW-zhaw.
Zubaida: An Arabic name meaning “elite, prime, cream”. Some famous bearers are an Egyptian actress, Pakistani chef and an Abbasid princess from early Islam.
Zurah: Could be an Arabic name meaning Venus. Most search results on the name are the name of a horse breeding company based in Brisbane and a hair company in the UK. Banu Zuhrah is a clan of the Quraish tribe. So it could have been chosen for that reason

2 thoughts on “X,Y and Z Rareties

  1. Wow, Xanthe is so rare in the US compared to Australia and the UK!

    I went to university with a man called Yu – I think it’s more common as a girl’s name though. He also told me that he translated the name as “jade”, which surprised me, as it seems the most feminine translation for the name. Mind you, Jade is sometimes given to boys in the English-speaking world too.

    I work with a Zubaida, and it’s a name I see around a fair bit.

    1. I was surprised to see Xanthe so far down too, even though the only time I’ve seen it used is in Neighbours! The first Jade I knew was a boy so I see it as unisex but with that many options to translate it as I’d pick rain.

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